KUCHING, July 28 — The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) hopes the Home Ministry (KDN) will consider granting double entry visas to foreign tourists to further boost the Malaysian tourism sector.

Motac minister, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said discussions between the two ministries had been conducted as approval for the visas came under the jurisdiction of KDN.

"Hopefully, it will be a temporary policy (granting double visas) of Malaysia as we need tourists to come and continue returning to Malaysia in addition to facilitating the entry of tourists into this country.” She said this to the media after officiating at the 23rd Asean Sub-Committee on Culture (SCC) and 11th Asean Plus Three Cultural Cooperation Meeting, here, today.

“So far, the targeted number of tourist arrivals has exceeded 4.5 million and that figure is expected to increase to over eight million by the end of this year with the reopening of the Brunei-Malaysia border from Aug 1.

"The increase in the number of tourists coming to Malaysia is already visible with most visitors coming from Singapore, followed by Thailand, the Philippines and India," she said.

The SCC meeting is an annual meeting to discuss cultural, arts and heritage projects implemented by Asean member countries under the sponsorship of the Asean Cultural Fund (ACF).

This meeting also supported two projects proposed by Malaysia, comprising the Asean Workshop on Sustainable Heritage Food Packaging and Commercialisation for the World Market and The Echoes of Asean Bronze with an allocation of US$100,000 (RM444,850). — Bernama